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Questions tagged [flow]

This tag should be used for questions about the so-called flow of a literary work. This includes the flow of sentences because of difficult words and the flow of the overall plot because of interruptions, like chapters that are mainly for exposition than advancing the story.

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30 votes
11 answers
24k views

Is it wrong to use the same word multiple times within a few sentences?

I have been told before that when describing things in writing I should use different words, and not to repeat myself so it doesn't become redundant, but sometimes there are no other words that work ...
EmmieCG's user avatar
  • 589
22 votes
12 answers
8k views

How can I make a character who isn't a jerk seem like one?

I have an MC who, because of certain circumstances, everyone sees him as harsh and cruel at first. As they get to know him through the first few chapters, they eventually see he's nicer than they ...
Kale Slade's user avatar
  • 2,643
19 votes
7 answers
4k views

Pretty flowers with clunky Latin names

I am writing a fantasy novel set in the Middle East. For multiple reasons related to both plot and atmosphere, I'm using flowers and flowering trees a lot in both descriptions and dialogue. Trouble is,...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
11 votes
7 answers
4k views

Intentionally leaving out a part of the story, for a more interesting reveal?

In the story I am writing, I have a character who is working on a project and will present it to a group of judges who will mark it in a sort of examination. The project is a source of stress for the ...
Erdrik Ironrose's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
703 views

Cutting down story length without leaving out locations

I'd like to write a story and I have plenty of elements for it, up to and including a set of locations, characters and events, as well as some loose sequence for those. This is still a planning phase,...
Zoltán Schmidt's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
672 views

Secondary characters in character-study fiction

How would a story flow if I made the secondary characters solely for the purpose of showing the reader how the main character has grown though the years? I'm thinking a 10 year span right now. They ...
Big Sky's user avatar
  • 91
8 votes
3 answers
5k views

Should a long flashback be written in first or third person?

In my novel there will be a chapter-length flashback as one character relates a story from his past. The rest of the novel is written in limited third-person, seeing into one person's mind at a time. ...
Travis Christian's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Getting Prose to Flow

I've heard some advice on writing, which says that writers should read their drafts aloud, in order to hear any flaws in the sound of their writing. But after I've done this, how should I change my ...
garbia's user avatar
  • 1,552
6 votes
4 answers
1k views

Rules of Harmony

When writing prose, I noticed that certain words flow smoothly when placed next to others, while other words do not, but I can never be too sure exactly how smoothly they flow, or whether my cadence ...
garbia's user avatar
  • 1,552
6 votes
2 answers
236 views

How do I include translations without ruining the flow of the text?

A character speaks two languages throughout the whole plot. How to insert the translation of the other language without ruining the layout of the story or text? For example: "Guten tag, Herr X," ...
J. Roberts's user avatar
5 votes
7 answers
2k views

My writing often does not flow

I want to write in lyrical styles, not only in conversational styles, but often when I attempt that, in a rush to be done, my writing does not flow. Am I a bad writer, or am I just not editing enough?
garbia's user avatar
  • 1,552
5 votes
2 answers
740 views

Any suggestions to improve these three introductory paragraphs of a novel I'm writing (e.g. writing style, description and flow)?

These are the paragraphs: Someone had called me at half past eleven. The phone rang six times breaking the silence and darkness of the room for about ten or twelve seconds. I didn’t pick up. ...
wyc's user avatar
  • 12.4k
5 votes
1 answer
129 views

Is history best left untold?

I am working on a fantasy novel and have built my world leading up to the 'main story'. Much of the context of the story has to do with religions created by past civilizations and references to "the ...
Acumen Simulator's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
988 views

How do I make a concluding sentence flow from the previous sentence?

This question was flagged as being similar to another question of mine, so I have to clarify that this question pertains to how I should introduce the concluding sentence, whereas the other one ...
user3776022's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
429 views

Please help me polish this paragraph. [closed]

I'm learning English as a foreign language. In one of my writings, one paragraph goes: But it's not saying we just indulge ourselves and turn into wild beasts. We train our brain hard so that we ...
xzhu's user avatar
  • 257
4 votes
3 answers
163 views

Relationship Problems

In my plot, there are these 2 characters who were originally close to each other. However, they had an argument and broke up. In the end of the book, though, they get back together again. What I need ...
Jaystar's user avatar
  • 441
4 votes
4 answers
858 views

Is it a bad idea to have all the action in the beginning and all the dialogue in the end?

I wrote a short story. All the action happens mainly at the beginning of the story. You can see part of the beginning in this question, and the full story here). This is the dialogue and ending (just ...
wyc's user avatar
  • 12.4k
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is it ok to use long footnotes?

In my text, I have a footnote (6 or 7 lines) that is meant to be an extra insight. It does seem, however, to be a bit large for a footnote. On the other hand, if I try to place it inside the text, ...
Jak's user avatar
  • 155
4 votes
1 answer
545 views

On using InDesign or Scribus

My book editor says that we need to professionally reflow the text with Adobe InDesign software (not just in a word processor). She asks $350 for the job, which seems like too much money. Do I assume ...
porton's user avatar
  • 748
3 votes
1 answer
103 views

How do we follow up a description within a descriptive text with another description?

How do we follow up a description within a descriptive text with another description? Let's say you mention A and B in the first sentence, and then follow up with a long description of B, how do you ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.9k
3 votes
2 answers
260 views

How to limit 3rd Person Omniscient without losing depth to your other characters?

My writing group lately has been harrowing me to stop using 3rd Person Omniscient perspective and use 3rd Person Limited instead. Brandon Sanderson (I'm part of his writing class and will be again ...
Joe-You-Know's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
74 views

I’m having a rough time starting my second book in my series. Is this normal?

I am a young author writing a fantasy series. When I was writing the first book, it was easy and words literally flew onto the page. Now that I’m starting the second book (even though I know what it’s ...
Hello.There's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
741 views

Non-Linear Storyline: Dynamic vs. Static chapter sequence

While this question may be a little nit-picky I realize chapters do help the flow of a book, and, since I'm now plotting a novel, I figured it's a good time to ask. In a non-lineary storyline, I've ...
i41's user avatar
  • 163
3 votes
1 answer
224 views

Critical review of blog post [closed]

I wrote a blog post a long time back. For this post I chose a writing style very different from what I'd read or what I'd seen before. Some guys did criticize me and others did acknowledge me for the ...
n0nChun's user avatar
  • 131
2 votes
3 answers
140 views

Increasing the flow in descriptions of a sequence of events

Thomas appeared behind Daniel and shook him by the neck, which brought him down to his knees. Thomas kicked him and then kicked away the gun that Daniel dropped making sure he wouldn't be able to ...
puffofsmoke's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
313 views

How many times should I mention a character's name when the interactions are among the same sex?

So, most of my main protagonists are female, and the usual him/her doesn't work when dealing with multiple females (or males, for that matter.) So, how would I make dialogue flow without mentioning ...
Kale Slade's user avatar
  • 2,643
2 votes
3 answers
374 views

Is breaking the fourth wall to the point of nonexistence appropriate for a comedy book?

After considering the style and setting for my first book, I've decided on writing a comedy treasure hunt set in a not too distant alternate future. I still have some final things to figure out before ...
Nzall's user avatar
  • 715
2 votes
2 answers
107 views

Improving the flow/rhythm of the following comparison

I smiled and gave her a nod. I was beginning to like her more, plus I realized we had some things in common. Like our attempts of suicide. The difference was striking, of course. Kate’s problem ...
wyc's user avatar
  • 12.4k
2 votes
2 answers
108 views

Does adding an indefinite article in this sentence hurt the flow, or does it improve clarity?

To me, it sounds fine to say "She wore a black shirt and red skirt", without the indefinite article before "red skirt". However, in "She wore a black shirt and red skirt revealing slim legs", I worry ...
Tyler's user avatar
  • 155
2 votes
4 answers
172 views

How could this paragraph of writing be improved [closed]

I wrote this but it really doesn't read nicely. How could the following paragraph be improved? With the increasing green movement, subsidies for energy produced by solar panels installed on ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
145 views

Is it OK to replace real-world locations when writing?

I'm writing a story set in Bristol, UK (specifically the town of Avonmouth). So far everything has been geographically accurate, but if I want to make the story flow smoothly, I may have to replace ...
Bees's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
2 answers
102 views

My writing is stiff at the start, I think I need an attitude adjustment

My story is raring to be put on paper. But the first paragraph, indeed the first chapter, is stiff as a board. Way too much subject, verb sentence structure (clean and safe). Basically, I’m so ...
Anne's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
1 answer
221 views

How do I avoid making scenes feel rushed?

I've written several scenes and reread them silently. Most times they sound rushed, unnatural and uncomfortable. This especially happens with action or other fast-paced scenes. How do I avoid this ...
K. Bailey's user avatar
  • 193
2 votes
1 answer
165 views

Overabundance of punctuation, too many pauses, like this title

I have a writing style which relies heavily on pauses, specifically commas and periods. I like to put them everywhere but I am quit sure I overdo it significantly. I was wondering if there are known ...
ZirconCode's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
72 views

How can I organize a book where the primary audience is sometimes one group, sometimes another and other times both?

I am writing a non-fiction book, where [for instance] I am talking about the Teacher-Student relationship - and many aspects. Sometimes the writing is addressing the Teacher and sometimes the Student ...
CJ Cornell's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
240 views

What is the best way to "jump in" to the middle of a conversation in writing?

I'm writing a scene where there is a time skip, and the reader catches only the end of a piece of dialogue when we jump back in. It reads something like this: By the time the sun had set, she had ...
writingishard's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
190 views

How do I keep a major emotional upheaval from seeming artificial and abrupt?

I'm writing a short story. In it, someone hires a professional assassin to kill a young woman. While the killer is investigating his target he unknowingly starts having feelings for her but he only ...
Loupax's user avatar
  • 185
1 vote
2 answers
257 views

Does this sentence excessively break the fourth wall?

I am currently writing a scene for my novel. In this scene I will be revealing the primary villain for the entire first book. The villain, named Annihilus, has the power over the domain of life; he ...
Krythic's user avatar
  • 113
1 vote
2 answers
303 views

Critique of short essay [closed]

Basically I need some critics regarding the following points: Does this description essay archive its goal (a creepy story with a 'sappy' ending)? How is the 'rhythm' of the story (is there sometimes ...
wyc's user avatar
  • 12.4k
1 vote
2 answers
504 views

Mixing dissonance and alliteration?

Are alliteration and dissonance considered mutually exclusive? My understanding is that alliteration means repetition of consonant sounds to make text flow more harmoniously, while dissonance means a ...
Jason Baker's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
876 views

Does this essay demonstrate flow, clarity, and passion?

I am applying to school and, after 3-4 weeks of thinking and writing essay iterations, I ended up with the essay below. What are your professional objectives? (300 words) I have one ...
Peretz's user avatar
  • 169
1 vote
3 answers
164 views

How do I make my writing flow?

I'm in the skeleton stage, but to get into the rhythm of writing, I write short stories every few days. Upon reviewing them, I've realised that unless I am specifically aiming for abstract and vivid ...
BubbleQueen's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
189 views

How to make your paragraphs flow from paragraph to paragraph [duplicate]

I am writing a fictional novel. I have just begun and had my daughter read what I had written up until now, her reply was it is very good, but she feels I am jumping all over the place. Any comments ...
Dawn's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
1 answer
131 views

How do you combine a thick but secondary plot with a light but primary plot?

The primary plot of a story is a rather light mystery involving two characters in pursuit of a lost treasure of sorts, forced to solve a legendary riddle, following archaeological clues and occasional ...
Sinus the Tentacular's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
71 views

Writing better result sections in scientific articles, non-native English writer

I'm currently doing my master thesis in Ecology and now writing my result section. I'm a non-native English writer and I would like to ask for some help structuring my sentences and how to become a ...
asellus's user avatar
  • 13
1 vote
0 answers
41 views

Is it a good idea to pause a plot while doing a few one-offs and then going back?

This is for my webcomic, and I'm trying my best to keep it about writing, sorry if it's off-topic or something. Let's say I have 2 chapters of something that tie together and have a continuing plot ...
Ceramicmrno0b's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
126 views

Starting character alive or dead?

I've been struggling with this one for a long time and it's really kept me from moving forward. My main character starts off as a queen consort, and the death of her husband and her stepson (co-kings) ...
Lgndry's user avatar
  • 221
0 votes
2 answers
106 views

How to show a short, sequential passing of time, without changing the scene [closed]

I was working on a story for practice; I have been putting it off for some time. I am extremely new to writing and honestly need to read more. I personally tend to think more like a movie camera, so I ...
Matthew T. Scarbrough's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
98 views

How to better imply time and place changes?

For instance we are speaking of one time and then when we finish we speak of a moment that preceded, i.e.Ten hours before that. Or we are speaking about people in a facility and then we change to ...
SovereignSun's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
187 views

Is it okay to mix tribes with cyberpunk?

I am trying to write a story for an upcoming game, its theme is cyberpunk. My problem is that I haven't written any long, complicated story before. I've read many books and blogs, and watched a ton ...
ryuk's user avatar
  • 23